This week in dance music: Breakaway Bay Area 2023 announced a lineup including Madeon, DJ Snake and many more, while Peggy Gou, Kylie Minogue and Purple Disco Machine all repped the genre on a pair of Global charts and Kanii’s Exit entered the Dance/Electronic Albums tally in the top 10.
And yes, there’s more. Here are the best new dance tracks of the week
The Chemical Brothers, “Live Again”
The Label: Republic Records
The Spiel: The second single from the U.K. legends’ forthcoming LP (the tenth of its career, due out later this year), “Live Again” falls on on the more etheric side of the duo’s output, with a driving production made of layers and layers of guitar, an electro synth line, crisp high hats, a wind up build and release and vocals from French singer Halo Maud, who commands “yeah we live again” like nothing less than an incantation. With an uplifting vibe similar to Chem Bros classics like “Swoon,” its easy to imagine this one playing at the climax of a live set, which the guys will deliver at upcoming festivals throughout Europe and headlining arena shows throughout the U.K.
The Vibe: The will to live.
Gorgon City Feat. DRAMA, “Lost & Found”
The Label: EMI
The Spiel: After releasing the sublime “Voodoo” earlier this year, Gorgon City extends its hot streak with “Lost & Found.” The second single from the U.K. pair’s forthcoming album — Salvation, coming on July 21 — “Lost & Found” is another one of the sensual slow-burns the guys have always been especially adept at (see 2014’s “Lover Like You,” for example). Vocals from Chicago R&B duo DRAMA float along the moody, sexy production supported by a slowly pulsing beat, gentle piano and a perfectly placed guitar.
The Vibe: That magic moment when like becomes love.
James Blake, “Big Hammer”
The Label: UMG Recordings
The Spiel: James Blake winds it up good on “Big Hammer,” letting a sinewy, spare beat play out for the first minute and 15 seconds, creating a sort of ominous atmosphere before folding into chopped dancehall-style vocals that are tough and kind of wonderfully dirty. The corresponding video — documenting a crime spree/bender that clocks in shorter than on streamers — is a grimy, sort of dangerous, sort of raunchy must watch. “Big Hammer” comes from Blake’s forthcoming Playing Robots Into Heaven, his first album in nearly two years out September 7.
The Vibe: Dark urges coming to life.
LP Giobbi, “Giodisco”
The Label: Defected Records
The Spiel: LP Giobbi makes her Defected debut with an absolute sunbeam of disco house. “Giodisco” goes hard and heavy on strings, which ride a tough but simultaneously bubbly beat, a chorus singing “ba da da da daaaaaa!” and an over-before-you-know-it moment of LP flexing her serious dexterity on the piano. Altogether it’s sophisticated, but also just deeply fun house music in the grand tradition that both LP and Defected are known for.
The Vibe: Friday evening on the patio of your favorite bar surrounded by pals, sunshine on your face, rosè in hand.
The Label: GODMODE
The Spiel: DJ_Dave hasn’t missed during the roughly 18 months she’s been releasing music — and she isn’t starting today. Her latest, “Array,” functions as a shimmering wall of sound made of layers of synths, drums, celestial touches, her own voice and a punchy beat that altogether extend the digitally-driven, tough yet feminine and mathematically-minded world established by the producer’s ongoing sonic and visual output.
The Vibe: Nintendo 64 on acid.
The Label: LUCKYME
The Spiel: One of the electronic world’s most consistent and influential beatmakers, Lunice recently dropped his first album in two years. Today, the project gets new life via the just-out video for the album’s title track, “Open.” The visual matches the track’s contemplative vibe, with Lunice and Montreal vocalist Yuki Dreams Again (who opens the song by announcing “this healing is hard”) alternating between studio scenes shot in black and white and nature scenes in color. The contrast reflects the sort of cathartic quality of the track itself, which starts with an almost pop-centric delicacy then crescendos with Lunice screaming lyrics about freedom over a cacophony of the kind of spatial beats that are his signature.
The Vibe: That moment when you stop banging your head against the wall about a problem and figure out what to actually do about it.